Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Old Habits Die Hard

I've found myself falling into a patterns lately, and not the good ones.  Ya know the old saying "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" ?  I have a bad habit of doing that when things get hectic or when I'm overwhelmed.  Most people do this when they are excited about the possibility of something coming their way or something new.  I'm the opposite, expecting the worst before I even know the whole story.

Today was a prime example and my worst offense in quite a while.  I've worked in the insurance industry so I am rather familiar with how things work.  After my accident I made sure all my ducks were in a row and all my phone calls were made.  I filled out all the required paperwork and made sure the right claims were filed with the right people.  I did all the leg work because I was having trouble getting companies to communicate with each other and it was just easier if I did it all.  The only thing I could not control was how long the refund check would take to process for my warranty and that has been the only hold up on the payout from my GAP insurance to close out the claim.  If you are not familiar, GAP insurance covers the excess amount you owe on a vehicle if it is considered a total loss so you are only responsible for the deductible, instead of the balance of the loan.  

I got a letter in the mail today saying a payment had been made by my GAP insurance for less than the balance due and that I was responsible for a large sum of money.  My immediate reaction was fear and then I freaked out, as I only anticipated paying my deductible.  

I placed a call to the GAP company but got a voicemail and left a message.  Not satisfied I called the finance company who sent the letter to see if they had any insight, to no eval.  I then called my mom, and by this point I was crying so hard I could barley get the words out to explain to her what had conspired.  While I was attempting to explain between sobs a call came through on my other line.  It was my GAP company.  The same woman I have been dealing with the whole way through, and who by the way, is amazing!  

She explained that they had not made any payments and was most likely the refund we have been waiting on.  I called the finance company back and asked who made the payment and received confirmation that it was indeed the refund we have been waiting on to close the GAP claim.  I asked the finance company to fax the required documents to the GAP company so we can proceed.

Needless to say this could have all been avoided with a few deep breaths and a lot lees crying, but as I said, old habits die hard.  I'm not excusing how I act or react, I'm simply stating a fact.  I try hard, I do well for a while, and then for whatever reason I tend to revert back to what comes naturally.  I guess it makes sense when you think about it.  It takes so much focus and effort for me to try not to freak out that it's just easier to freak out and get over it than to try not to I guess.  

Maybe someday I'll be free from freak outs and have no need for crying spells, but for now it's one day at a time and doing my damnedest to lay these bad habits to rest.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good Days

I can no longer count my good days on just my fingers and I'm well past needing my toes.  There was a time however when I only needed 1 hand to count my good days, and it wasn't all that long ago.  Right now, sitting here with the cool breeze coming in my open windows, the smell of pumpkin coming from my oven and music coming from the radio, it may as well have been eons ago.

Good days are in abundance now, those small victories that were so difficult to find each day when I started writing this are now second nature.  I take great joy in things I never noticed before, or never took the time to notice.  Like the fact that I don't have an apron.  I don't think I ever cooked (really cooked) enough to necessitate one before, but I enjoy it, and I am quite messy when I do it.  For instance I was making pumpkin chocolate chip bread for Gunnar today.  

It's a fall favorite in our house and he asks for it as soon as there is a hint of cool air.  I decided to double the recipe to give some to a few friends, forgetting how much the original makes.  Once the last loaf was in the oven and now I am subsequently on my 3rd, yes 3rd shirt of the day.  Most people would have left the pumpkin covered shirt on until they were done, but I was too good for that.  I got 2 loaves in the oven and had some laundry to do so I thought I'd wash the dirty shirt since all I had to do was transfer batter from bowl to pan.  How hard could that be?  Well apparently when you have a clean shirt it's harder than it looks...so here I am in another clean shirt and ya know what, it's okay!  

I made dinner and Curt invited a buddy over who's wife is out of town.  Then Courtney dropped Hailey off for a sleepover of sorts since she has to have Alex in for surgery early tomorrow.  We all enjoyed some fresh pumpkin bread for dessert.  Now Gunnar and Hailey are both asleep, Curt is taking is friend home, the dishes are done and the dishwasher is running, I have some laundry going and all I hear are the various hums of and uneventful yet productive day.  A Good Day.  No longer few and far between, but often and abundant. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tie a knot and hang on

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

When I first read this I laughed out loud.  I thought, what a great analogy for life!  If I can think of this quote each time I am having a rough day, a tough time or just a "moment" if I can laugh like that, or giggle, or even just smile, that is all I need to pull me out of my funk.

I am convinced some days will require more than just one knot, but I figure as long as I can still hang on it's all good right?!

I'll let you ponder this and see if you find it as wonderfully simplistic and yet deceivingly difficult as I do.  Meanwhile I am going to put these tired eyes to rest.

I Never Thought

I never thought in my wildest dreams I would become a military wife.  I distinctly recall telling Curt when we were first dating that if he had any intention of joining the service I was not the girl for him.  I wanted a man who was going to come home every night, a man who was going to have a "safe" job and someone who I would always know where he was.  HA!  I was pretty delusional, not only about military life, but about my future husband's career as well.  Curt's prior Army career was far from "safe", and although he did come home every night, there was never a guarantee as to when he would be home.  Most nights it was late, some even later, and then there were the nights he would walk in the door just to get a call and have to walk right back out.  As for knowing where he was all the time, not only was/is that unrealistic for anyone to ask of another person, but in Curt's prior line of work he drove all over the valley and sometimes the state.  There is no possible way I could have known where he was at any given time, but he was good about keeping me in the "loop" as much as he could.  For those of you who don't know, Curt was a mobile tire tech for big rigs and heavy equipment before he joined the Army.  He did that for about 11 years, and if you have read much of my blog you know we have been together for about 9 years.  That means he was in this line of work when I met him, so I had no valid reason to be delusional, I simply was because it suited my way of thinking at the time I suppose.  

Now that you understand I had no actual intentions 9+ years ago of being where I am now, you may have a greater appreciation for how far I have come.  Or you may say to yourself (or to me) it's about damn time!  And I wouldn't blame you one bit, it is time, and I am ever so thankful that I have been given the opportunity to grow and succeed the way I have.  I have come to the conclusion that this lifestyle is not for everyone.  This is the part where you sink or swim, where you find out if you can live this life or not, and it's not an easy life by any standards, but the military is the best at training it's soldiers.  Now I may not be the soldier, and I may not have signed on the dotted line, but I will stand beside my husband the whole way through, and if that means I get some "training" alone the way, sign me up!  I am convinced that the training period the soldier goes through is also a training for the family.  It trains us to be away from our loved one for extended periods of time, which is common in the military.  It trains us to go lengths of time with little to no communication from our soldier, also common, but what I found for me to be the most substantial part of the training was to be self sufficient, self reliant and to learn to "put my big girl panties on".

So while I think about how far I have come and how far we have come as a family (both literally and figuratively) in just shy of a year, I know that we have all had victories both large and small.  I think about how much our live have changed and still I wouldn't change any of it.  I see, hear, and do things now on a daily basis that I never imagined I would ever do, see or hear, yet it's all in the realm of our daily lives now.  We pass teams of soldiers and SWAT training on buildings being prepared for renovation when I walk Gunnar to and from school.  We no longer bat an eye.  I sat today and had a conversation with Courtney while her picture frames rattled on the walls from the artillery just miles away.  We often pause our conversations with friends or while on the phone as aircraft fly slowly just above the tree line.  I get a call to drop off Curt's ear pro at the motor pool or to see if his ACH is in the trunk.  The funny thing is I know exactly what he's talking about.  

These are now common everyday occurrences and I don't think much about them as they happen, yet as I sit here and type this I am still in awe that this is my life.  As I live it day in and day out I can't imagine it any other way.  The friendships I've made, and the ones I continue to make are ones I truly believe will stand the test of distance and time.  The love, guidance and genuine respect given and received is amazing to be a part of.

Don't mistake what I'm saying, this is no easy journey.  The days can be long and the nights can be lonely, however I know I am never really alone.  I always have a friend to call anytime day or night.  I always have a shoulder to cry on.  Our children always have a "daddy" to hug even if THEIR Daddy isn't home that night.  We make it through and we do a lot of it together.  I've learned very quickly there is no shame in asking for help because I will be asked back.  We don't keep tally's and we don't keep secrets.  We don't knock on the door, we walk in, we don't call before we come because we are always welcome and we don't take no for an answer.  These aren't just friends, these are extended family and I wouldn't have it any other way!

So for all the things I never thought I would do, and for all the places I never thought I would go....HA!  Look at me now!  I'm doing it and I'm going there!  So if you think you can't, you won't.  If you think you don't, you aren't.  However if you choose to, you will.  If you think you do, it's as good as done.

Carpe Diem-Seize the Day!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's Been Too Long...UPDATE!!

First I want to apologize that it has been so long since I last wrote.  I've had some computer problems that limited my access among some other issues I will let you know about over the last few months.  Thanks to my amazing Dad I no longer have computer issues and cannot use that as an excuse not to write!
Now I will try to make this update as short and sweet as possible, but if you know me you know that is probably going to be a promise I am bound to break.  It has been too long and I have much too much to tell.
Well, there is no better place to begin than the beginning, so I'll start with the beginning of the journey that has me writing this. So in case you haven't guessed, Curt's TDY was approved so he was able to fly home to help us move.  We chose to do a DITY (Do It Yourself) move, we have always moved our own things and didn't think much of it, but the furthest we had ever moved was the 2 hours from Tucson to Mesa.  We'd NEVER moved 2,500 miles and it is/was no easy task.  I will forever be a proponent of the Army moving us from here forward!
We made it safely and rather quickly if I do say so myself in 3.5 days.  We even managed to meet my sweet friend Jesslyn for brunch.  On our longest day we drove over 900 miles and 4 states.  Gunnar was in the Penske (aka "The Big Banana") with Curt for the whole trip.  That left me and our tortis George following in the Juke.
We made it to Ft. Bragg on Mother's Day evening.  We stayed in a short term apartment off post until our house was ready on Memorial Day weekend.  I won't lie, it was small.  Two bedrooms and one bathroom about the size of the bathrooms you find in an airplane.  NO JOKE!  All things considered though it wasn't too bad.  It was livable for sure, especially since we were told we would be relocated to a larger, renovated home in the future.  No one however could tell us when the "future" was, it could be 6 months or a year or more.
We got Gunnar enrolled in school to finish 1st grade and he loved his teacher and his school.  We started meeting people and making friends right away.  It was amazing!  We had our first BBQ before we ever even moved into our house and then those friends helped us move in.  Their names are Jay and Courtney and their children are Alex (7) and Hailey (2).  You will hear those names a lot.  Thank goodness for them, Jay specifically because there is no way I could have lifted some of our furniture up those stairs!
Then the real chaos began.  Curtis was in the field for a training exercise and had been gone almost a week when I went off post to do some errands while Gunnar was at school.  I got lost and ended up getting into a wreck.  I T-boned a white SUV, I still don't know what kind it was.  I was very luck that I didn't hurt anyone in the other car and that I was alone in mine, but I did total my brand new Juke.  I had minor injuries and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.  I was able to reach another friend I was supposed to be meeting to let her know what happened.  She was able to reach Curt's Commander in the field to let her know what happened.  Curt's Commander let him go to meet me at the hospital.  I was able to go home after several hours and multiple tests.  I had a minor concussion, lots of bruising and pain but I was thrilled to be alive and mostly unscathed considering the severity of the accident.  I think that little car saved my life....
A few days later Gunnar finished school for the summer.  No second car and a banged up Mama made for a blah start to the summer for G-man.  Then a week or so later we went to a marriage retreat a few hours away in Charlotte.  We had a great time and while there had a surprise call letting us know Curt had orders (don't get TOO excited) to move to the new house.  Apparently you need orders for EVERYTHING in the military.  More on that later. 
The good news was we were getting our newer, bigger house that much sooner!  On the other hand my mom was going to be there in a week and it was going to be Gunnar's birthday.  I was NOT looking forward to moving AGAIN.  My mom however thought it was a great idea to move while she was there.  She loves to move and decorate.  Ugh!  So we had to go to a briefing about the relocation due to renovations (or some such brief).  What I didn't know is the strange looking paperwork we got from the housing office was in fact Curt's orders for this move (they looked NOTHING like his other orders).  Silly me didn't bring them to the brief and since the briefs were only held on Friday's and Monday's we had to wait until the following Friday due to July 4th being a Monday.  The good thing about my little slip up....we wouldn't be moving while my mom was here or over G's birthday.  Gotta love when The Big Guy looks out for ya. 
Mom was here for Gunnar'sGunnar's birthday at Jay and Courtney's house because Alex and Gunnar were born a day apart and the boys hit it off right away so it just made sense.  A bit chaotic but still fun just the same, and the boys had a great time, so that's really all that matters.  We watched the fireworks from home to avoid the heat, humidity and most important (to me) the crowds!  
Before I knew it mom was heading home and it was back to life as normal.  Or as normal as it can be when all we seemed to be doing was moving.  This time it was MUCH easier!  The moving company came in and packed our house.  The next day they loaded the truck and unloaded at the new house.  Meanwhile my stress level was starting to go through the roof.  I was trying to get the car wreck taken care of, the move done, our AZ house sold, entertain G-man (poor guy) and tons of other little things.  Curt seemed to sense I needed a break and he couldn't get leave to go to NJ for a long weekend like we had planned.  That's when he decided to fly me and Gunnar out for a week while he stayed here.  I was beside myself.  I knew I needed a break and I wanted so badly to go and see family as well as to give G some (if short lived) enjoyable time during the summer.  I didn't want to leave my husband though.  There were times I wouldn't have thought much about it, but after being apart for so long and never knowing when he may have to leave again for training or the dreaded D word, I hate to be away if I don't have to be.
True to form Curt didn't let me dwell on it long.  He assured me the trip was exactly what I needed and that he would be fine and waiting right here when we got home.  We NEEDED to see family and to take a break from the chaos.  Damn I love that man!  He always knows what I need, even if sometimes I don't.
We had a great time in NJ.  I got to see family I haven't seen since I was a teenager.  Lots of cousins, some I hadn't even met since they were born after I left the East coast.  I was able to spend some quality time with my grandparents and my aunt.  I even got to see my Nana (mom's mom) and introduce Gunnar as a surprise!  She was so excited and shocked.  I don't think I'll ever forget the look on her face.  
Alright I know this is getting long, so let me try to sum this up for you.  We got the AZ house sold!  It was a short sale, but that is what we were going from from the beginning so it was no shock.  We put it on the market as a short sale and the first offer was accepted.  It was all a matter of the bank coming through and the paperwork being approved.  I'm happy to say all is complete.  Although I prefer to "never say never" I would also prefer NOT to purchase and/or sell another house until Curtis is retired from the military!  That was no piece of cake, and the only benefit for us is that we didn't have to foreclose.  I'm still working feverishly on trying to close my GAP claim from the wreck.  Gunnar started 2nd grade on August 25th.  He loves his school and is teacher.  He's also playing soccer with his first game coming up on the 17th.  
Okay, I know there is plenty more but I'll leave it here for now.  I promise I will keep up better on the blog.  I have so much I want to say, I just need to get it out of my head and onto the blog.  As you can see there have been HUGE victories in our lives over the last couple months.  Moving cross country in one piece as a family and staying in tact no matter the trials.  Overcoming a sever wreck and coming out stronger for it.  Moving AGAIN less than 2 months after getting here.  Making some great friends and being open to new people and new things.  It's not peaches and cream every day, but we make it work and we learn as we go.  What's your victory...big or small?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Extra Extra Read All About It....Orders Have Arrived!!

Curtis got his paper orders!!  Yes, you read right, after what has seemed like forever (I know it hasn't been that long, but the wait sure seemed like it) Curtis got his official paper orders.  For those of you that don't know what I'm talking about, paper orders are the final say so in where we will be heading on our journey.

Drum roll please....Ft. Bragg, NC is going to be our new home starting in May for an undetermined amount of time.

Although this was not on the coveted "wish list", I for one couldn't be happier about our new destination.  This desert rat is ready to head back to her ocean roots for a while and this is as close as I'm going to get.  About 2 hours from the Atlantic ocean.  Not the same beach I grew up on, but a "new" me allows for new beaches in the sands of life.  I hear the North Carolina shores are beautiful and I cannot wait to sink my toes into the sand and sea!  Another major plus is that we will be much closer to many of my family members that we haven't seen in years.  Some who have never even met Curtis and Gunnar due to the distance and cost to visit one another. 

As much as I am going to miss my family and friends here and yes even the desert I have grown to love dearly, I am excited for this new era of our lives to begin.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Full of Surprises

Well 2011 sure has been full of surprises and it continues to be!  This comes to you a little bit late, but my husband is not the easiest person to reach these days, and I did need to let him know of the "little" surprise first ;-)

So without further a due....I give you the new addition to our "family" the 2011 Nissan Juke S!  The Juke is considered a Sport Crossover.  It has 4 doors and a lot of space inside with the great gas mileage that I was missing in my trailblazer.  My favorite feature is the hands free bluetooth that can connect up to 5 phones.  Now I can talk and drive on post (that means I can call for directions)!!

Front View

Side View

I call her my Bugga Boo, but my Dad and sister think she should ribbit instead of beep so I guess they think she's more like a frog!  Curt's comment after seeing a picture was " It's a little funny looking.  I think it suites us!"  I had to laugh, it was a very Curtis thing to say.  Either way I think she's perfect! 

I have to admit, I've never purchased a vehicle on my own before.  I'm sure that is no big shock to those of you who know me well or who read my blog often.  Here's the kicker...Curt was in the field and had no idea I was even considering a new car!  Lucky for me, Curt and I have a very open and understanding marriage and once I told him of "our" purchase, he said he had full trust that I had made the right decision for our family and he was proud of me for doing it on my own. (Que the "awe's)  He also said that he would not have been nearly as comfortable with me doing something like this without him 8 or 10 months ago, but I am a much more independent and researched person than the woman he left. 

It was a very true statement, but also a bit shocking.  I didn't realize my husband had noticed how much I have changed.  It's not that I think he is oblivious to the changes, it has more to do with being 900 miles apart and having minimal communication.  I guess I didn't realize how much he had/has been privy to through that little bit of communication.  It is pretty eye opening.

I am really thrilled with the whole process, I was able to accomplish a goal I had set before Curt left for BCT, actually come to think of it, I had been trying to trade in the trailblazer since he enlisted to no eval.  It wasn't until I re-evaluated what we really needed, as opposed to what I thought we needed/wanted in a vehicle and I opened up all my options.  Once my views were no longer set in my typical black and white ways I had more vehicles available to choose from.  This gave me a bargaining chip I hadn't previously had.

Once I found the Juke, I knew it was right for us and it was a matter of getting a decent trade in for the trailblazer and the right payment for the Juke.  This is another place where the "old" me would typically get suckered.  In the past I would have either left the dealership with a vehicle I wasn't thrilled with, just to get rid of the trailblazer or I would have succumbed to a price was neither comfortable with or could reasonably afford.

Instead I bartered.  I walked in with all the documents I knew I would need in the event we could work out a deal, so that they knew I meant business.  I also didn't take the first offer that came down the pipe.  Not only did it not fit my budget, but I knew I could do better.  So I countered, they countered, I countered once more and we had a deal.  Just before midnight I had signed everything and I was heading home wondering how on earth I was going to get up for work in less than 3 hours, but I really didn't care at that point, I was elated!  I was truly victorious in my own right, and thrilled to have come to a point in my life where Mrs. Indecisive had become Mrs. Decisive.  

Victory abounds in my life....as it should!

Monday, March 28, 2011


When I look up the definition of strength the definitions come up in this order.

1. Physical power: the physical power to carry out demanding tasks

2. Emotional toughness: the necessary qualities required to deal with stressful or painful situations

There are many more definitions that follow, but these two and their placements stood out to me.  I have needed a great deal of strength over the last many months and I have come to the conclusion that without having the physical power first, I would not have had the subsequent emotional toughness I needed to complete each task or to get through each trial that has been handed to me as of late.  It was an interesting realization.  In the past I never would have associated myself with any connotation of the word strong, and yet I find myself at times now defining the above two definitions of strength more often than not.

I have never been physically strong, even when I was younger and I played sports, I was not what would be considered "good".  In fact I got the best hustle award EVERY year in soccer.  Hey, if nothing else I was consistent.  I was a team player, and I played with my heart, but I wasn't a strong player.  I haven't really thought much about that until now.  I enjoyed playing, so I played.  I didn't care that I wasn't the best, it was never my goal to be the best.  Maybe it should have been, maybe I would have worked harder and been stronger if it was, but it wasn't.  We had other players that were great and they compensated for my weaknesses.  We subsequently almost never lost.  Maybe I would have felt differently if I had played on a losing team, but I doubt it, winning was great, but again playing was my ultimate goal.

Strength has never been my strong point.

Then there's the emotional strength.  HA!  Hahaha!  I couldn't, no wouldn't have been able to even tell you what that meant before November.  There was not an emotionally strong bone in my body.  I would cry at the drop of a pin, all it took was a sideways glance, a conversation started in the wrong tone of voice, or even less.  I was more like an emotional train wreck, but it was nothing new.  I had been that way my entire life.  Those who knew me either loved me for it or despite it depending on the day.  Looking back I can only wonder how and why, but it is not for me to judge why people put up with my emotional instability, only to be thankful they did so that I had the support to get to this point of reflection.

What I can tell you about strength is that I believe you have to have physical power before you can have emotional toughness.  Now I'm not saying I can go lift 1,000 lbs with my pinkie finger, what I mean is that there is a certain amount of actual physical power needed to be emotionally tough.  It takes a physical toll on your body (at least it does mine) to be at my strongest emotionally, and I am learning that the stronger my physical body is the better I can build my emotional strength.  If I am not as physically drained each time I need to be emotionally tough, the easier I find it to do the next time, and the next and the next.  You see where I'm going with this?

Our physical bodies and our minds are very much connected whether we realize it or not, whether we choose to believe it or not.  Think about the last time you cried, really sobbed, and how much energy it took.  Not only was that an emotional release, but a physical release as well.  Now consider how much physical strength it takes (that you don't even realize) to stay calm when you would rather cry, or scream, or simply give up completely and crawl back in bed.  How much more strength does it take to keep going

So when I say that I AM strong.  That I at times define strength.  I am not full of myself, I am not conceited, and I am not on my high horse.  I have come a very long way from the person I was when Curtis left for BCT, from the person I was before we ever started this journey and I have earned the right to BE strong, to exemplify strength in everything I say and do.  I may do it for my son, I may do it for my husband, but ultimately I do it for me, because if I don't do it for me first I cannot possibly do it for them next.

I will leave you with this to ponder...sometimes it takes the most strength to admit that you are at times weak and need the help of others....never be afraid to ask for help, you are only as strong as your greatest weakness.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I want to say a BIG thank you to my baby sister for all her help last week with G-man!  Gunnar was on spring break and my sister spent the week entertaining him, helping with homework, reading, and all around just being the Gr8Kate that she is!  I could not have gotten through last week without her help, she made it possible for me to get through a difficult week and keep everything peaceful and fun for Gunnar.  She road bikes and played basketball with him.  They built Lego's, this is always a Gunnar favorite!  She took him hiking and to Crackerjacks Amusement Park.  They went to see Mars Needs Moms at the movies and even a spring training baseball game!  I'm not sure who was more exhausted by the end of the week, but I know they both had a wonderful time and this mom/big sister could not be more grateful.


I don't think I tell you enough just how special you are and how much you mean to me.  How much respect I have for the person you are and the person you continue to become.  You are an amazing person with so much potential to do whatever you choose, and I cannot wait to see what decision you make with that wonderfully intriguing brain of yours.  You never cease to rise to any challenge, whether it's one you give yourself, or one someone else puts upon you.  You are strong, intelligent, beautiful inside and out, and you have a heart of gold.  I am now, always have been and always will be proud to call you my sister.  I am all too aware that you are fully grown, but "baby girl" is what you will be to me forever and always.  No matter how many miles may soon separate us, you will never be far from my heart.  I hope you remember all the great times we have enjoyed together, and I know there are plenty more where those came from.  As we've grown older our lives have gone in different directions, but my love for you has only grown in leaps and bounds with years, age and maybe even a little bit of wisdom thrown in.  Never forget that I am and always will be there for you even if I may be far away.  I love you more than my words can express Baby Girl, but I figured now was as good a time as any to try.

I love you forever,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 30-A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Day 30-A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Wow I cannot believe I am on the last day of the challenge...I know it has not been a continuous 30 day span, but I knew the timing would not allow for that.  I thank all of you who have gone through this journey with me.  I knew this challenge would be well, challenging, but I did not anticipate all of the emotion it would bring forth in me.  Some of these questions were easy for me to answer.  I know who has impacted my life the most, I know the people I will put my life on the line for, they are the same people that keep me alive each day and like the title says, they are the people giving me a little more life to live.  

Other questions were not nearly as simple to answer.  Whether is was because I had to first be honest with myself before I could write a blog for people to read addressing the topic at hand, or because I had to tackle demons from my past, or because I had to make my opinion known on subjects that are not popular conversation pieces, and my opinion is not widely viewed as politically correct.  Either way, I took the challenge to answer each question honestly and to the best of my ability.  I can truly say I did that and I do not regret taking this challenge.

This blog as you know is about victories, big and small, and although each topic may not have addressed a specific victory, completing the challenge and being raw and honest in it's entirety is my victory this time.  I learned a great deal about myself from this and I'm sure those of you who have followed along have learned quite a bit about me as well.  So I want to thank you for taking this journey with me, for learning and growing and not taking any of our victories, big or small for granted any longer.

And now, on with the show...the last topic, and a difficult one at that. Day 30-A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself.

Dear Jenni, 

I love you because you are genuine, you love those around you without conditions, without reason, without thought as to why they should "deserve" your love, or what you will gain in return.  I love that you trust, even to the point of hurt sometimes, because I still believe people should be trusted until they prove they cannot be.  I love that you are simple and yet still complex.  You are intelligent, and you have the ability to do things beyond your own comprehension, focus and realize that you are strong.  It's no longer a front.  I am so proud of you for all that you have learned about yourself and all that you have stepped up to do that you never would have even tried to do before.  I love you for being willing to finally take a chance and step out of your comfort zone to do not only what needed to be done, but what you know you wanted to do for Curt after all he's done for you.  It's not nearly enough, but it's a huge step in the right direction for a woman who previously wouldn't have even gone near the edge of the box, let alone outside it's walls that are so well known.  I love you for never giving up even when you wanted to.  I love you for making the smartest choice of your life when you chose your husband, because he truly is your soul mate and has been by your side every step of the way no matter how hard you pushed, pulled or otherwise.  It will always be your best decision.  I love you for finding it in you to let him love you no matter how unlovable you felt at times, it has brought you to where you are today and where you can accept his love for all that it is and all that is always has been and always will be.  I love you for doing your damnedest to be the best mother you can be, no matter how hard it gets, no matter how many times you get frustrated, remember he is your miracle baby and he is worth every frustration that comes with him.  Remember to breathe first, and use no as a last resort.  I know you will get there, Rome wasn't built in a day.  I love you for trying, I love you for meaning well even when you do say no, even when no comes out too often.  I love you for being you, for all your good qualities and all your flaws, I love you because you are uniquely you and no one else can do what you do, love like you love and be who you are to those around you.  I love you for taking the time to sit down and type this out, for understanding that you are lovable and you are loved.  The healthiest way to move forward in this wonderful new journey is to begin by loving you, so that you can accept the love of those around you.  It's time for a change, and what a better time than now, so tomorrow is a new day and each day I will remind myself that I love me for me and I don't need any other reason.

Love Always, 


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 29-Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.

Sorry I have NOT forgotten, life got in the way.  I will have an update when I am finished with this challenge

Day 29-Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.

I could swear I answered this question in a different form earlier...am I having deja vu?
Guess I'll have to come up with a different answer this time ;-)

So another thing I would change about myself is how reactive I am.  It's something I have been thinking about a lot lately.  Mostly because it has been happening more and more.  I have always been this way, but it tends to rear it's ugly head more often when I am stressed, and I have had my share of stress as of late, as much as I would like to deny it.

I assume things before I ask questions and I react based on my assumptions.  This more often than not gets me in trouble, and causes conflict with those I love most.  I don't usually do it directly as much with people I don't know because I don't like conflict, and yet I find that I create most of the conflict I have in my life by being reactive instead of proactive.

I need to learn to take a few breaths and a step back from the situation BEFORE I make any judgments.  I need to ask questions FIRST and make sure I know all the details.  I have learned from experience that when I do this I have a MUCH better response from people and I am able to not only better control my reaction and that in turn changes the way the other person reacts to me.  It makes for a calmer, more productive conversation and a faster resolution.

Now if I can just figure out how to take the reaction trigger out and replace it with a proactive trigger.....in the mean time I will be doing a lot of deep breathing and stepping back and probably a fair amount of biting my tongue until I have better control.  The good news is practice makes perfect, and I have the rest of my life to practice.  Feel free to remind me to practice if you find me being reactive.  A friendly reminder never hurts.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 28 -What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?

Day 28 -What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?

Well we can do this 2 ways....I did get pregnant.  Curt and I were already planning on getting married.  I just happened to have a bit of a belly when we did and we decided to expedite things a bit.  It was a personal preference for us.  We knew we loved each other and wanted to be married and we had no need for a big wedding and we both wanted to be married when the baby (Gunnar) was born.  It was really that simple.  I was never supposed to have children, Gunnar was a shock and a HUGE blessing.  We were over the moon excited that I was even able to get pregnant and we both wanted to be parents.  The only question we ever had was what date to get married.
If I were to get pregnant now....it would be a very scary and difficult situation.  There is no doubt in my mind (or Curt's I'm sure) that I would do everything humanly possible to keep the baby.  That being said, Gunnar was our miracle child and we have been told many, too many, times over, that to try again would most likely result in the loss of life.  Best case the baby, worst case both me and the baby.  So to make sure that Gunnar has a mommy as long as I have the ability to make the conscious choice to be one, and so that Curt never has to choose between me and our child, we make sure not to get pregnant.  After the 3rd or 4th doctor it was a pretty easy decision.  We know our other options, foster care, adoption.  We've gone rounds with the idea of foster care and I always come back to the same conclusion....I am not strong enough to give back a child I have loved.  As for adoption, it's not in the cards for us now, but you just never know what the future will hold.  I won't rule anything out.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 27- What's the best thing going for you right now?

Day 27- What's the best thing going for you right now?

I have a lot going for me right now.  I know I would not have said the same thing this time last year, but this is a whole new life we are living now.  It amazes me how much has changed in such a short time.  I have tons of amazing people in my life, from my family and friends that I see day to day, to a support system of Army wives, fiances and girlfriends, some I have met and some I have yet to meet, but all who I couldn't do this without.  I have a job I love, that is also allowing me the flexibility to take care of my son while Curt is training.  I have an amazing kid who meets the challenges of his dad being gone with great character and wonderful charisma, and I have a husband training his heart out to serve and protect our freedom, our country and all of our families. I have a marriage that after 7 years is better than ever, and although I never once pictured this would be my life at any age, I am happier at 30 than I have ever been.

So when I'm asked what the best thing I have going for me is, I cannot simply pick one.  They are all part of a bigger picture.  You see, without one I would not have the other, and so on.  So if you want to look st the bigger picture, the Army has brought most of this into our lives, or it has accentuated the positive things we already had.  Yet I am not saying the Army is to get all the credit here.  We made this decision together, it is the path we chose, I am simply saying it was the right path for us at the right time in our lives and I believe that all of the good things coming from that decision are proof of that.  I've said it before and I'll say it here again.  Everything happens for a reason.  

No matter what though, the best thing going for me will always and forever be my family.  Nothing will ever top that!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 26-Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

Day 26-Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

I'll be completely honest here.  This is a question I would rather not answer, but I committed to this, so I will.  I don't feel the need to go into great detail.  The past is the past for a reason.  I know that I have learned from my past and the people that have helped me through my darkest hours know that I am in a MUCH better place now.  That is what truly matters.

The honest answer is yes.  I don't believe the why and when actually matter that much.  I believe what really matters it that I am still here.  It takes much more courage to get through the time or times you feel you want to give up than it does to actually act on or commit the act of giving up.  True courage is fighting through the hard times, no matter how bad they are so you can make it to the next good times because before you know it the good times become great times.

I was raised with the understanding that the most selfish act a person can commit is suicide.  I believe this to be true, even in my darkest hours, what kept me alive was the thoughts of how deeply I would hurt those I love if I were to hurt or kill myself.  The thoughts of the lifetime of damage I would do to my son if he were to have to live no only without a mother, but with the stigma of having a mother who committed such a heinous act.  Thoughts of how Curt would feel, or how he would raise our son, the child we created together, alone.  Thoughts of my parents and my sister and how angry they would be, and then how hurt, and then angry again.  I don't think my family would ever be able to completely grieve a loss of that type because of how they feel about this subject.  I don't believe they would ever get over the anger and hurt and be able to fully grieve that loss.

I can say this all in hindsight, but at the time I just knew now matter what, now matter how much I hurt, now matter how hard I believed things were, there was another way, a better way.  So whatever I thought about, I want to make it clear, I never acted on any of these thoughts.  The bottom line is I love my family too much to hurt them like that and I know that they will always be there to get me through.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 25-The reason you believe you're still alive today

Day 25-The reason you believe you're still alive today

This is has a simple answer, and yet it is very complex in it's nature.  The simple answer is, I have not finished doing what I was put here to do.  I'm not done being a wife and mother.  I truly believe with all of my being that is my primary purpose for being here.  I am a wife and mother first, I am everything else second.

I believe that in no uncertain terms these two amazing guys have save my life and they are the reason I am still here.  So I can take care of them to the best of my ability, and so that I can learn from them how to be a better me.  They teach me everyday how to be stronger, how to love deeper and how to try harder.

I know for certain my work here is not done.  I am not done raising Gunnar, and I have only begun to show Curt that I can be, will be, and AM, the wife he deserves through this journey we call life, and we are just beginning.  We may have been together for 9 years, but it's like we've been given a new start and I plan to make the most of it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 24-Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)

Day 24-Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)


Ice Ice Baby-Vanilla Ice
Indian Outlaw-Tim McGraw
Kryptonite-The Better Life
Drops Of Jupiter-Train
This Cowboy's Hat-Chris LeDoux
Good Morning Beautiful-Brad Paisley 
Crazy-Lee Brice
The Breath You Take-George Strait
Regulate-Warren G
Live Like You Were Dyin-Tim McGraw
Cowboys and Angels-Garth Brooks
Fishin in the Dark-Garth Brooks
Proud of the House We Built-Brook and Dunn
Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue-Toby Keith
American Soldier-Toby Keith
God Bless The U.S.A.-Lee Greenwood
He Get's That From Me-Reba McEntire

Hey Babe,
Ok, you know there are probably 100+ more songs I could add to this, but these stood out either because they are prominent songs for our relationship, our family or because they remind me of you.  I'm sure you can guess most of them just by looking, but I'll tell you why anyway.  Amazed is clear, it's our song.  It's the first song we ever danced to and the first song we ever kissed to.  It also says exactly how I feel about you.  You found a tape, yes we are going waaaay back here to cassette tapes, of Vanilla Ice in my car and you have played Ice Ice Baby ever since to the point that our 6 year old knows the words by heart and asks to listen to it.  We must be the only people in the world with Ice Ice Baby on our Ipods!!  Ahhh, Indian Outlaw.  When I was so in love and gullible I believed everything you said.  Including when you grinned from ear to ear and said that a Chikiwawa was a little white girl with blond hair and blue eyes.  Now I will always be your Chikiwawa.  When I here Kryptonite I always think of you because you will always be my Superman, you always have been, and no Kryptonite can keep you down.  Drops Of Jupiter and Hopeless by Train were songs we could listen to over and over on our longest car rides.  I still love those songs and I think I always will.  They bring back such great memories.  There are a lot of Chris Ledoux songs, but This Cowboy's Hat not only reminds me of you, I can always picture you singing it and I love the sound of your voice when you do.  It's not that often that you sing along, you usually just watch me (and laugh).  Good Morning Beautiful by Brad Paisley is a song that will always remind me of you.  Even from 900+ miles away you manage to still wake me up with the same words almost every morning.  You not only say it but you mean it, and you have taught our son the same.  He tells me on a daily basis how beautiful I am, even when I think I'm not.  It's an amazing feeling to know that the most important men in my life truly believe I am beautiful no matter what.  Crazy by Lee Brice, I sent the lyrics from this song to you while you were in basic because I want to live this song.  I want to be your best friend, tell the truth, overuse I love you and love like crazy!  The Breath You Take is a George Strait song that talks about a dad and his son and how the dad is always putting his son above all else.  I can't think of a song that describes you better as a father.  Regulate by Warren G, of all my ode to the 90's on my Ipod, this is the one song you love.  As much as you love to laugh at my 90's music you can never resist Warren G! Live Like You Were Dyin, I will always remember dancing in a HUGE circle at your brothers wedding to this song and everyone singing at the top of our lungs.  That's when this song took on a whole new meaning for me.  The meaning I think it was meant to have, but non the less, it will always have great meaning and great memories of you and your family for me.  Cowboys and Angels always makes me think of you because you will always be my cowboy.  Rockstar because you laugh when I jam out and sing at the top of my lungs with the I love you fingers instead of the devil horns because I can never seem to place my fingers in the right spots.  Fishin in the Dark, this one is for Gunnar, because not only is it his favorite song, but he makes us listen to it over and over, and he plays it for us on his guitar!  How many 6 year olds do that?!  Funhouse by Pink, another one for Gunnar, because he love to play it over and over and I will never forget when we realized he was singing the whole song word for word....including the end!  The Brooks and Dunn song, Proud of the House We Built because it's not just about the house we have but the family we've built to put in it, and I am so proud to be your wife.  Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue and American Soldier by Toby Keith and God bless the USA by Lee Greenwood took on a whole new meaning to me when you joined the Army.  I am amazed at the soldier you have become and I am so proud to have you as my husband fighting for our family and our country.  I love you more every day.  He Get's That From Me by Reba McEntire

I love you truly madly deeply

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 23-Something you wish you had done in your life

There are a lot of things I wish I had done in my life, or maybe I wish I had done differently.  Yet again, I come to the fact that I believe everything happens for a reason.  If any one thing in my life had been altered I truly believe it would have altered every aspect of my life from that moment on.

I do wish I had done better in school when I was younger.  I do wish I had gone to college, but I still don't know what I want to do, so I don't see how going then would have done much good, except maybe for an AA in general studies.  It wouldn't have been the worst thing to be married, and then get pregnant, but ya know I don't do things by the book ;-)

One thing I can say I would have really liked to have done, is be more financially responsible.  I wish I had known then what I know now, and how my past financial mistakes would effect my families future for so many, many years to come. 

I realize that it took making the mistakes to get where I am now, but it would be so nice to be one of those people who is just naturally good with money.  Someone who never has to think twice about which bill should get paid first or which should get the lump sum if/when there is extra to put somewhere.  I wish I was one of those people who could easily say "no I don't need that, I need to save for x" or I need to do x with my money and not spend it on a million little things that add up so quickly.  I wish I could think quickly about needs first and wants second and not be so impulsive.  I wish it was simply ingrained in me, like it is in some.

I know I am doing better, but that doesn't change the past.  It doesn't change the damage that has already been done, and that will last for years to come.  The guilty that comes with knowing that if I had done things differently from the beginning we would be in a different place financially, that maybe things would have gone differently in our lives. 

Then I think about where our lives are right now, and no matter what road we had to take to get here, I am so grateful that we are here.  I wouldn't change it for the world.  I know it has been a rough road at times, but we have learned so much along the way and our family and our marriage has grown because of it.  These are the kind of reasons I believe everything happens for a reason.  What if everything had come so easily to me...where would I be now?  I don't think I would be here.  I know I wouldn't be taking this challenge, typing this blog and reflecting on my past and looking forward to my future in a way I never expected to.

So no matter how much I wish I had done something one way, or not done something another, I am grateful for where my life is and where my life is headed, and if I had to do it all over again to get to this point I would.  I have learned an immense amount, but more than anything I have learned to stop making the same mistake twice and figure out what the lesson is the first time around so I can avoid some of the BS in the future!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 22-Something you wish you hadn't done in your life.

I know I've said it before, but I really am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so that makes this a bit difficult to answer.

That being said, I think I can honestly say I wish I hadn't slacked off so much in high school.  I wish I had taken it more seriously, and focused more.  It's not that I spent high school parting the days away, I actually worked through high school.  It was more that I was not good in school, and since I was not good at it, little kept my interest.  Funny, I see now the exact opposite in my son.  He far exceeds his classmates and gets bored, and little keeps his interest.  It's interesting how two so opposite issues can have the same reaction.  Sorry, I've gotten a bit off track.

I wish I had paid more attention in high school.  I wish I hadn't seen it as such a social event, even though I don't recall being entirely social, so much as just wanting to figure out where I fit in.  I'm not sure I ever did figure that out either for all of my trying.  In fact it has taken my into my 30th year to start to figure out who I am, or at least who I want to be.  I can say for a fact I know who I don't want to be!

I really do believe everything happens for a reason, I think I had to experience high school the way I did, so that I can look back and know what to change when I do finally get back to school I can focus.  I know that part of getting through school for me is making sure that I choose something I am going to enjoy.  I am also old enough to know that no matter how much I like something there will always be aspects of what I do that I am not going to be fond of.  I have learned that for me it is best to focus on what I enjoy and find a way to "suck up" that which I am not fond of so that I can be more productive.

So really, as great as it would be to go back and get all A's in high school, if the truth be told, you could not pay me enough to go through that again!  The awkwardness and the constant fighting.  Never knowing who was your friend and who was your enemy from one day to the next.  Always changing to try to fit in with the current group, always following, never leading.  Nope, not for me!  I would much rather learn from my past and apply it to my future.  I have no desire to repeat high school or my mistakes from high school. 

That's why we live and we learn.  The important thing is to make sure we do learn.  I guess only time will tell if I have learned all I needed to know from my high school days.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 21-(scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

This is easy.  People fight.  I wouldn't love my best friend any less because we had a fight.  In fact I would be a complete wreck and horrified that the last things we said to each other we not loving words.  This is actually a big fear of mine.  Losing someone I love, or having them get injured, and having the last conversation with them have been something hurtful.  It's the reason I am usually the first one to apologize after an argument, and the reason I end all my conversations with "I love you".

I can tell you I would be headed straight to wherever my friend was, whether I needed to get there by car, bus, plane or train.  Nothing would be stopping me from being by my friends side. 

I think this one is pretty cut and dry for me.  I don't hold grudges, I love with all of myself there is to give.  A fight, big or small, would never keep me from being with someone I care about in their time of need.  Be it a car accident, a sickness, or a bad day.  It's just how I am.  Life is too short to dwell on a fight or argument.  Get it out, get past it and move on, don't let it stand in between you and the people you love.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 20-Your views on drugs and alcohol

Alcohol-In moderation it's great.  I love a good glass of wine paired with a nice meal or sitting and chatting with friends.  I love to sit with just Curt and have a glass or two to unwind once in a while.  Champagne is a great choice for special occasions.  I love the bubbly, fizziness of it tingling my nose.  Mix drinks are fun and best of all quite tasty, but again moderation is key. 

I don't like the smell, and I don't like anything that burns.  If it smells AND burns....you can keep it away!  I don't drink to get drunk.  I can't stand the feeling of being out of control.  I did it a few times when I was too young to know better, and well, I know better now.  It's much more fun to have a few drinks, enjoy the people your are with and not wake up feeling like the undead.  I just don't see the point.

I also am FIRMLY against drinking and driving!  I have a rule at our house, if you drink you stay.  Plan to hand over your keys because you won't be leaving until morning.  Unless you live in walking distance, and I do mean a few houses away, not a few miles, you stay or you don't drink, or call a cab or a sober buddy, but at my house you play by my rules.  I don't have many but the ones I do have I am firm on.

Drugs-I am against.  If they are illegal, they have been deemed that way for a reason.  If they are RX and not yours, GET YOUR OWN!  If you cannot get your own, you shouldn't be taking it. 

Illegal drugs are a HUGE no,no with me.  Don't do them around me, don't bring them around me, don't discuss them with me, if I find out you use them you can bet your butt I will do everything in my power to get you to stop and/or get you help to stop.  There is no excuse in my book.  If you ever bring them to my house, or around my child you can guarantee you will no longer be invited back until you get help.  Don't EVER put my family in jeopardy because of your selfishness!  I will not apologize for sounding harsh, I feel strongly about this.

Prescription drugs, if they are yours and used as directed they can be life saving at their best.  I believe strongly that prescriptions used correctly are a wonderful creation.  Used incorrectly however they can have detrimental effects.  It doesn't matter if someone is abusing their own prescriptions, or someone else's, it's always going to be dangerous and lead down a road of destruction. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 18-Your views on gay marriage

I posted the wrong day yesterday, so here is yesterdays

WARNING: Please remember this is my blog and these are my views.  If you think that you will be offended by something you read, you are free to skip this portion.  Please also remember I DO NOT sensor my comments.  I believe you have a right to say what you want, however, I also ask that you are respectful in your responses so that I may continue to not sensor my comments.  We are all adults, we all have our own views, please feel free to agree or disagree...RESPECTFULLY.  Thank you.

On to the topic at hand, how do I feel about gay marriage.  This is relatively simple for me.  I believe that people, ALL people have the right to love whomever they are drawn to.  Whomever they choose to love and be with, if that relationship is a truly loving, solid relationship.  I do not think that love should have boundaries.  Why should people be restricted to love only the opposite sex because that is what society deems politically correct? 

Clearly there is a large popularity of people whom for one reason or another are not attracted to the opposite sex.  Should they be forced into a loveless marriage just to please society and their family?  Not if you ask me!  I believe every person has a right to love and be loved, and if people find love I believe they have a right to marry the person they are in love with.  I was able to marry the love of my life and have since spent 7 years going through the ups and downs of marriage with him. 

Why should someone be unable to share the same comfort of marriage and all it brings, good and bad, just because they choose a lover of the same sex?  Some say marriage is just a piece of paper.  If that is the case, why can't gay lovers have the same piece of paper I share with my husband?  Why can't the share the same benefits I share as a married person on my taxes and my health insurance?  Please give me one good reason why 2 people who love each other with all their heart and soul are being told they cannot legally be together.  It's like a slap in the face.

We as a society are completely hypocritical.  We teach our children not to judge.  That people are people and one person is no different from the next, no matter their gender, race, color or creed, and yet we do not stand by that.  I see it all the time, people stare at the person in the wheelchair passing by, people whisper about the kid with all the tattoos and spiky colored hair, people point at the 2 men holding hands as they walk, and a hundred other instances I'm sure you, yourself have witnessed as well.  We judge people everyday on their gender, race, color and religion without even thinking twice.  We even judge ourselves, how many times have you thought "I'm a girl, I can't do that."  That is a flat out judgement based on your gender, and yet we do it ALL the time!

I would LOVE to say I don't do any of this, that I never judge, but I just proved to you that I DO!  Before Curt left, there were a thousand things I would have used that EXACT sentence for, now there are very few, but I am sure there are still some.  My point is, we are all guilty of some form of hippocracy, it's a matter of whether you choose blatant hippocracy, or inadvertent, in my eyes.  Neither is right, neither is okay, and I am not condoning any of it, I am simply saying it is part of life in our society.  Take responsibility for it.  TRY not to do it, own up to it when you do.

As for the gay marriage, I think it's hypocritical to allow 2 people of the opposite sex who have known each other for a matter of hours to get married simply because they fit the mold of what society expects a marriage to be, and to deny 2 people that have been in love, living together, and sharing a life, essentially married but without the paperwork, to be married, simply because they are of the same sex and are not what society wants a marriage to be....well I say it's time to GROW UP world!!  Watch the divorce rate DROP when you allow people who love each other for who they are get married!  Society is not stopping these people from loving each other, or living together, or even starting families, so I say let them marry!

You may agree, you may disagree.  I know what the bible says about marriage, but I also know that God gave people free will.  I say ponder that and tell me that people should not be able to marry the person they love.  I believe free will trumps all....God gave free will for a reason.  Let God do the judging.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 19-What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

WARNING: Please remember this is my blog and these are my views.  If you think that you will be offended by something you read, you are free to skip this portion.  Please also remember I DO NOT sensor my comments.  I believe you have a right to say what you want, however, I also ask that you are respectful in your responses so that I may continue to not sensor my comments.  We are all adults, we all have our own views, please feel free to agree or disagree...RESPECTFULLY.  Thank you.

Whoever wrote these questions obviously never heard the old adage never discuss religion, politics and baseball! :-)

Religion-I have varying views on religion.  I consider myself a christian, a Lutheran if you want to be specific.  I believe in God and Jesus, I go to church sporadically, I am somewhat confused by the bible and yet I find parts of it inspiring and enthralling.

I spent most of my childhood  in many different churches with different friends.  When I was very young and still in New Jersey, I went to church with my Nana to a Presbyterian church.  At the time I loved all the pomp and circumstance.  I sang in the choir and I carried one of the crosses down the aisle in my robe that was always a tad too big.  When we moved to Arizona I started to explore.  I went to different non-denomination churches with different friends.  I went to a synagogue more than once.  In the beginning of high school I started going to an LDS (Mormon) church with a friend.  I went for a few months, but I found that the commitment required and the beliefs did not fit with my life style and the way I was raised.  I moved on to a Baptist church I enjoyed a lot for a while, then to another non-denomination.  I lived with a girl who considered herself a wicken.  I read some of that and knew it wasn't for me, but still found it fascinating at the time.  I ended up back at a baptist church in my early 20's when Curt and I first got together. 

In the end we seemed to find our niche when looking for a preschool for Gunnar.  I was looking high and low to no eval, and my mom had said that I would know right away when I found the right one.  Well aren't mothers always right? (it's kinda annoying)  I walked into this preschool run by a Lutheran church that was also a private christian school.  I knew IMMEDIATELY it was the right choice.  I enrolled him that day after talking to Curt, and when he started, it was clear we had made the right decision.  We liked the school so much we decided to try the church.  For me it was a bit similar to the Presbyterian that I went to when I was little without the pomp and circumstance.  Curt seemed to like it to, and we agreed to become members.  For all the church hopping I have done, this was a big decision.  I had never actually been a member of any of the churches I attended. 

We went through the membership classes on Monday nights and it was a nice bonding time for me and Curt as well as learning a lot.  We were going every Sunday, but it seemed that every other Sunday Curt was getting a call in the middle of the service.  We would have to leave so he could go to work, and then we'd be lost on the next Sunday's service.  After a few months of the same routine we both got tired of it and decided we had 2 choices.  Gunnar and I could go without him, or none of us could go.  To Curt's credit, he opted for Gunnar and I to continue going without him.  I, however, was in no frame of mind to sit alone in church while G was in Sunday school, so I opted for the later, and we haven't been back since. 

That's just to give you a little background.  I have a lot of thoughts and opinions that don't fit into the traditional christian views.  It may come from all the different religions I have been exposed to, it may come from being raised by very liberal parents with different world views than most of the world around us, I don't really think it matters where it came from, it works for me and my family.

Just some examples of where my views don't fit the mold.  You don't need to agree or disagree, this isn't a debate, these are my feelings, views I have had for the majority of my life.  The God I believe in does not have a hell.  Yes, you read that right.  If He loves us all as much as the bible claims, and He gave us free will to do with as we choose, then the all knowing God I believe in knew what would happen with at free will.  He knew all the good and the bad that would come along with it, and He will forgive us ALL for our sins whether we repent or not.  We are ALL God's children.  I do NOT believe He would sentence anyone of us, no matter how haynes the crime to an eternity in the pits of darkness.  Now maybe there are different parts of heaven, for the people that were not do gooders on earth, I don't know, I haven't put that much thought into it.  I just know that I believe God, the God I believe in loves us ALL, the good and the bad, too much to watch us burn in an eternal fire for eternity.

I believe that EVERYONE goes to heaven.  Or that you get reincarnated first and go later.  I know that may not make much sense to a lot of you, but let me explain.  I believe that eventually we ALL go to heaven, but I believe that we live many more lives than just the one we are living now.  That feeling of deja vu you get, or the feeling of knowing a near stranger like you have known them for your entire life.  I believe that is because you have lived that before or known that person in another life.  People who seem to glide through life like they've done this a million times, people wise beyond their years (Gunnar).  I believe those people are what I call "old souls", people that are on their last of many lives and headed to heaven.  I believe that people like myself, people who make many mistakes, don't seem to heed advice well, live anxiously and unknowingly are "young souls".  We haven't lived many lives and have a lot yet to learn still.  I think that in each persons life there is a combination of young and old souls to keep the balance.  For example, I believe that both Curtis and I are young souls and that is why we were given a child that was an old soul to teach us and guide us.  I know that sounds backwards, but sometimes life is a bit backwards, and it works.  God has a plan and a way, and no matter how hard you fight it or stray from the path, He will find a way to bring you back.

As you can see by these few examples, what I think and feel doesn't fit the mold.  My views work for me.  Everyone one has a right to their own beliefs, I don't believe there is any right or wrong way to believe in God, or a Great Spirit, or a Higher Power, or whatever it is that you believe in.  If your beliefs are not doing harm to yourself and/or others, than believe what makes you feel good.  We have freedom of religion for a reason and God gave free will so that we can choose to believe as we choose and do as we choose.

I may be right, I may be wrong, but I am doing no harm, and I think God should be the one to let me know if my beliefs are on or off track, because He is the only one who truly knows.  We can only try to decipher what His will is.

Politics-I have a similar issue.  My views don't fit the mold.  I have varying views, I don't fit with one party but I am listed as a democrat.  There is a story behind that but you will have to ask my mom because not that I am old enough to know better I refuse to tell it. ;-)

To be honest I don't consider myself very political at all.  The reason being is because I don't feel like there is a ballot that would fit my views.  I am pro choice for the simple fact that I feel I DO NOT have the right to make that choice for another woman.  I do not know her background, her future, or her body.  I am pro life for myself.  I believe that every child should have the chance at life and I would opt for adoption if I could not care for a child I became pregnant with.  AGAIN...that is NOT a choice I could make for someone else.  Call me a hypocrite, call me whatever you want.  My blog, my views, my choice to make.

I know I am going to incite a riot here so please refer to the warning above.  I believe that EVERY child has a right to go to school.  I don't care if that child is in the country legally or not.  The child is not responsible for their parents actions.  I believe every child has a right to the essentials needed to live, food, clothing, shelter and an education.  How are these children going to make anything of themselves, to better themselves if we deny them these basic rights of humanity?

I believe that the politicians do not focus on what they are going to do, but what they want you to think they are going to do.  I don't watch the political campaigns because I cannot stand to watch one opponent smear another day after day.  It makes me sick.  In the end one of them is going to be running our country whether we like it or not, I don't want or need to know all of that persons dirty laundry, real or produced by overactive imaginations with nothing better to do.  I can't stand the bumper stickers..for OR against either party.  I don't care who you vote for!